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Rangers-Capitals Game 2 in review

Posted By Carp On May 1, 2012 @ 4:12 am In Hockey,New York Rangers,NHL | 286 Comments

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Thoughts:

1) This from Braden Holtby, the kid goalie, who has it figured out right, better than a lot of youse who have been watching hockey for years:

You look at the difference in the two games … We hit two posts last game, and they hit two this game. That’s how close it is. … the hockey gods were on our side tonight.”

2) So, yeah. That’s all it is. That’s why I thought it would be 1-1 after two games and at least a six-game series. These teams are alike, and if they get their talented people going and play the way the Rangers play and if Holtby doesn’t completely blow it, it should be a good series.

[2]3) Speaking of the Capitals’ talented people: Alex Ovechkin. If he was a basketball player, he’d be Carmelo Anthony. Or, a chucker. The guy has ceased to make his teammates better, ceased to create for his teammates, ceased to do anything but get the puck and try to shoot from anywhere. He once was feared for the way he recklessly threw his body around, too, and I haven’t seen any of that. Can he still beat you? Yup. He did last night. But he’s not the player he was. And I’m not sure the Ovie Sucks countdown chant—though I think it borders on brilliant—is a good idea. You know, let sleeping dogs lie and all that. Ovechkin sure celebrated his goal, with his glove by his ear, so, yeah, he heard it.

4) All that said about No. 8, Cheapshot Hunter is going to get himself to the unemployment line very quickly if he uses Ovechkin 13 minutes a night and the Capitals go down in flames, which I still think will be their fate in this series. [3]

5) A couple of this, a couple of that. The Rangers made a couple of mistakes—the Stu Bickel play, the Henrik Lundqvist play—he did have a legit excuse with the trapezoid rule, which didn’t strike me at the time—and the two penalties in the third, questionable though they might have been. The Rangers (Michael Del Zotto) also hit that right post hard in the third, and then hit the crossbar in the final minute of the game. So, I know, if, if, if … but this game could really have gone the other way.

6) And how many times this year, and in the first round, did games that could go either way end up going the Rangers’ way? Answer: A lot.

[4]7) How about that No. 1 line in the third period: Rookie Carl Hagelin, Richards and rookie Chris Kreider? The birthday boy had seven hits. Also loved that John Tortorella had him serve the too-many-men penalty … assuming that the idea was that he might get a breakaway out of the box. And he did. Moments before Washington scored.

8) People who were piling on Marian Gaborik in Game 1 and late in the Ottawa series, OK. No problem. He was being played hard, and he was the guy the opponents tried to shut down, and you could argue perhaps that his effort could have been better. Not so in this game, I didn’t think. He made a hell of a pass on the Richards goal, had a few chances that he created himself. There’s just no room. [5]

9) To the conspiracy theorists who appeared as soon as the Rangers took consecutive penalties in the third: There is no possible way that the NHL and NBC do not want the Rangers playing for another six weeks. Philly-Rangers and LA-Rangers would be beyond the network’s wildest dreams. Period. End of story.

10) Good to see Brian Boyle back on the ice. Wasn’t his best playoff game, obviously. But the Rangers need him, and will need him going forward.

11) I thought two Rangers had exceptional games: Ryan Callahan and Michael Del Zotto.

12) And, hey, the power play scored!

13) That R-A-N-G-E-R-S song is just embarrassingly bad. So is NBC’s production in terms of replays and such. Too bad MSG Network and its usually outstanding production has been put to bed.

14) Told ya, 1-1 after two. Rangers in six.

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My Three Rangers Stars:
1) Michael Del Zotto.
2) Ryan Callahan.
3) Dan Girardi.
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Joekuh’s Three Rangers Stars:
1) Ryan McDonagh.
2) Brad Richards.
3) Michael Del Zotto.
**************************************************

AP photos, above.


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[1] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2012/05/ovechkin.jpg

[2] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2012/05/richards-ovechkin-goal.jpg

[3] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2012/05/knuble.jpg

[4] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2012/05/callahan-holtby.jpg

[5] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2012/05/hank-game-2.jpg